Hawaii Governor David Ige admitted on Monday (22 January) that he was slow to correct the false missile threat alert that sent residents into a panic earlier this month because he forgot his Twitter login details.

On the morning of 13 January, Hawaii residents were met with a frightening message that warned of an incoming ballistic missile and advised them to immediately seek shelter. Although Ige was informed within minutes that the alert was a mistake, he took 17 minutes to share that piece of information on Twitter while Hawaii residents scrambled in a frenzy.

"I have to confess that I don't know my Twitter account logons and the passwords, so certainly that's one of the changes that I've made," Ige told reporters, according to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

"I was in the process of making calls to the leadership team both in Hawaii Emergency Management as well as others. The focus really was on trying to get as many people informed about the fact that it was a false alert."

Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency's accidental alert was sent to people's phones via text message and was broadcast on TV and radio stations across Hawaii.

The alert also happened to come amid heightened tensions between the US and North Korea over the Asian country's defiant advancement of its nuclear programme and recent string of missile tests.

Officials took nearly 40 minutes after the false alert went out to send the updated information. The erroneous alert was accidentally sent out because an employee pushed the wrong button during a shift change, local authorities said.

The 61-year-old has more than 7,700 followers on Twitter. His Facebook page posted the correction 23 minutes after the initial false alert was sent out. He did not mention whether he had forgotten the password to his Facebook account too.

Other lawmakers also took to social media to notify residents of the false alert before Hawaii's EMA sent the correction.

The governor noted that he has now saved his Twitter login credentials on his phone to avoid facing similar issues in the future.

Cindy McMillan, a spokeswoman for Governor Ige, told NBC News via email: "Gov. Ige's Twitter and Facebook accounts have always been updated and managed by staff. Going forward, he will be able to log in on his phone to post in an emergency situation. However, staff will continue to post to and manage both accounts on a day-to-day basis."

The news comes after a password for Hawaii's emergency agency was found scrawled on a Post-it note and stuck to a screen in a public photo.

Social media users, on the other hand, had some thoughts on the governor's revelation and slammed Ige over his slow response on social media following the alert.

While some blasted the governor as "incompetent" and "careless", others pointed out that Twitter wasn't the best platform to send out the correction given that the governor has less than 8,000 followers while the population of Hawaii is nearly a million and a half.

Some related to Ige's forgetting of his password and admitted they often lose theirs as well. Still, people said it was no excuse, given that he is in charge of the state of Hawaii.

Hawaii Governor Ige with Japan's PM Shinzo Abe
Hawaii Governor David Ige (L) has admitted he was delayed in sending out a tweet correcting the false missile alert because he forgot his login information for Twitter - File photo Reuters